Week 1: John Q. Adams vs. Andrew Jackson

Welcome back one and all to 06/07 - The Numbers Game! The original plan for this post was to compare June and July but I'd have to compare each of the 61 days. Then there was the plan for centuries of the 600s and the 700s. Then the births and deaths for each of those took a hundred pages each.

So, instead of that we have something a bit simpler. This time, we're comparing...




Yes, this week we'll be comparing the sixth and seventh PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES!


Look, the political history of the US may not be everybody's cup of tea, but don't worry. The United States of the 19th century was a weird and wonderful place, full of instability and new frontiers and all that stuff that makes for good historical fiction. Besides, I have good word from Cracked.com about Andrew Jackson's badass-ness, so at least half of this post is going to filled with the good stuff.


Let's get down to it, then!


Also known as: John Q. Adams, John Adams II: The Revenge, Adams '25 (okay,not really)

BORN: July 11, 1767
DIED: Feb 23, 1848

PRESIDENT: 1825 - 1829

  • Great diplomat according to most historians
  • Served as representative long after his reign
  • Predicted the American Civil War nearly 40 years before it happened
  • Defended the behavior of Andrew Jackson when he was a general, silencing Brits and Spaniards alike
  • Ended the War of 1812 between UK and the USA
  • Fought for - and won - the rights and freedom of a group of mutinous Spanish slaves, throwing out legal precedent and convinced the court that they had been treated illegally and should not be transported back to Spain as criminals, generally accepted as his Crowning Moment of Awesome
  • Only president to have met the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln, or so they say
  • Owned Andrew Jackson in the 1824 election, despite losing the popular and electoral votes
  • Died as he lived; with a heart attack following a dramatic "NO!" in the House of Representatives
  • Kept a freaking pet alligator in the White House
  • Has about 19 places named after him
  • "Ugly as sin" and the "scariest looking President ever", according to TV Tropes
  • Didn't make concessions as he thought they'd hurt his campaign; resulted in needless trade wars
  • Accused of cronyism as he appointed one of his opponents Secretary of State in a "corrupt bargain"
  • Proposals were blocked at every turn by a Jackson-ian Congress, lost control
  • Instituted enormously unpopular tariffs that made him lose even more support
  • Didn't do much during his presidency, as Congress was too hostile
  • Second ever one-term President, after his dad

Also known as: Old Hickory (for his toughness), Not Andrew Johnson (to distinguish him from that loser)

BORN: March 15, 1767
DIED: June 8, 1845

PRESIDENT: 1829 - 1837

  • Once a POW of the Brits, showed defiant nature from start when he refused to polish a Redcoat's boots
  • Bought Tennessee and built Memphis
  • Badass colonel then general, beating the "Red Stick" Indians, demolished the Brits at New Orleans
  • Won the Seminole War, killing Seminoles, Spanish and Brits alike
  • Invented the Democratic Party
  • Won the 1828 election by a landslide
  • Only President to ever have paid off the national debt
  • Teamed up with Davey Crockett to beat the crap out of a would-be assassin
  • Fought either 13 over OVER ONE HUNDRED (WHAT ONE HUNDRED?!) duels, mainly over his wife's honor
  • Has a buttload of places named after him
  • Brought to court over his actions in the Seminole War, needing John Q. Adams to bail him out
  • Somehow lost the 1824 election to Adams despite plurality in the popular and electoral vote
  • Attempts to limit the power of banks led to the Panic of 1837, plunging the country into deep depression
  • Nullification crisis (which would lead to secession and the American Civil War) happened during his rule - more his scheming Vice President's work, though
  • Relocated the American Indians and drove them out of the lands, "Trail of Tears"
  • Invented the Democratic Party


Both Adams and Jackson stand as the last of the truly great 19th century American presidents (besides James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln) and it's quite evident that both men led vastly different lives before their presidential campaigns, Adams being a brilliant diplomat while Jackson made a living of being a BMF, generally being an unstoppable force of nature.

Adams, despite somehow eking out a victory in 1824, suffered various scandals that led to his entire Congress stopping his policies at every turn. On the other hand, Jackson was certainly able to achieve more, but even then the extent of the success of his policies has been rather questionable, the Nullification crisis casting the longest shadow, seeing as it led to the Civil War.

The question of which was a better President has been answered by a variety of authorities, most in favor of Jackson; Adams scores 17th best on average while Jackson is 9th best. On the other hand, this website claims not to have any objective criteria (or doesn't claim to have any objective criteria)...

Unfortunately for John Q. Adams, history hasn't been too favorable, and with the evidence at hand, the second win goes to President #7, Andrew Jackson.





That's all for today, folks! See you next time on 06/07: The Numbers Game!

No comments:

Post a Comment